My first apply guitar apply amp was a Marshall. It had the gold trim, the leather-like outer pores and skin, and the bronzed knobs. It sat entrance and middle in my bed room, plugged right into a guitar that was formed like a battleaxe, Its shimmering floor glinting within the solar. It was, for a while, my pleasure and pleasure — I’ve the softest spot of Marshall gear.
So you possibly can think about, after I acquired to check out a few of Marshall’s coolest tech, I used to be excited. One of many merchandise I’ve been testing is the brand new Marshall Motif II, a pair of in-ear buds immediately focused at Apple’s AirPods Professional 2 with an analogous function set, type issue, and, crucially, a cheaper price.
However will they attraction to anybody however the rock-inclined of us?
Marshall Motif II: Worth and availability
You will get the Marshall Motif II from most good retailers, reminiscent of Amazon and Finest Purchase. Inventory appears good for probably the most half as effectively, with no provide points as but. The Marshall web site additionally has them on the market, should you’d slightly go straight to the supply.
Worth-wise, they arrive in underneath the AirPods Professional 2 at $199/£179. That could be a very tempting worth level, particularly once you get them in hand.
Marshall Motif II: Construct and match
The Marshall Motif II have a case that’s about as near the AirPods Professional 2 that you just’ll discover, other than the fabric that’s used to make it. It’s that very same easy, rectangular, albeit with a bit of inflation in all dimensions. That’s, in my eyes, a very good factor — it slips into pockets with out protruding or jutting into your leg, and makes for a really good feeling case in hand. It’s all coated with a form of leather-feel coating, made to emulate the floor on Marshall amps. It’s acquired a pleasant bounce to it, a form of softness, and it feels nice in hand.
The buds themselves are small, black, they usually appear like extra angular verisons of the AirPods. They’re a bit of larger than Apple’s buds, however the tip choices imply that they slip very simply into the ear, and don’t fall out — even with probably the most rigorous of headbanging. Additionally they really feel premium. I actually just like the knurled stems that serve no sensible objective aside from making them simpler to soak up and out, and I just like the little ‘M’ on every bud.
They give the impression of being extra attention-grabbing than your customary buds consequently, and actually stand out in a lineup when in comparison with the competitors — simply as you’d hope one thing from one of many greatest rock manufacturers on the planet would.
Marshall Motif II: Options
There are the usual specs — 30 hours of battery life in whole, 6 hours in every bud, wi-fi charging for the case, a fast cost choice that provides you an hour of life with a fast 10-minute cost. You recognize, the standard. These battery life claims in my expertise have been correct, they usually’re just about par for the course in comparison with the competitors. Flip ANC off, nonetheless, and that battery life jumps as much as 9 hours, which is fairly stellar.
That ANC is healthier than you would possibly anticipate, however simply falls a bit of in need of the AirPods Professional 2, the continued iMore noise canceling champion. They’re excellent at blocking out the decrease frequencies, however could possibly be higher at coping with the upper: Issues like voices nonetheless come via greater than you would possibly like. Play music on the bus, nonetheless, and also you’ll not hear a lot of the skin world.
That ANC will be turned on and off with contact controls on the facet of the buds, and whereas I’m not utterly satisfied, they’re higher than some. You may customise the lengthy press which turns off noise canceling by default, after which there are different numerous combos of faucets to skip, play, and pause. Personally, I’d prefer to see a solution to management the quantity and change the noise canceling standing, however that’s not an choice — it’s both or, sadly.
I’m not utterly satisfied by them as a result of I nonetheless get a great deal of unintentional faucets after I regulate them in my ear. They’re higher than some, nevertheless it’s a bit of irritating to regulate one solely to pause the monitor, or flip noise cancelling on and off.
These controls will be performed round with within the Marshall Bluetooth app, which works effectively. There are sound profile choices in right here should you don’t like the way in which they arrive out of the field, in addition to controls to regulate the power of the noise canceling. You can too activate the transparency mode, one other new function for the Motif II.
It really works effectively too, utilizing the microphones to pump the skin world into your headphones when wanted — though it received’t do it routinely as some do. I’ve it set to vary with a protracted press on the contact panel, switching between ANC and transparency, which appears to work effectively sufficient.
Marshall Motif II: Sound high quality
The Motif II have an attention-grabbing sound signature, and one which’s not utterly anticipated from Marshall. There’s the attribute mid-range increase for vocals and guitars, however many of the heat of the profile comes from an enhanced higher bass layer. Sub bass is current, however not overpowering, and the highs are extra pronounced than you would possibly anticipate from a Marshall product.
Meaning a sound profile that works finest, as at all times for rock and steel, however one which additionally now excels for jazz and Classical music as effectively. For drum & bass, nonetheless, and different extra sub-bass heavy preparations, they’re not fairly as robust. It’s a extra coloured sound signature than the likes of the AirPods Professional 2, however one which is likely to be extra pleasing for extra folks.
The rip-roaring Heartbreaker from Led Zepplin solidifies the Marshall Motif II as some severely spectacular rock buds, main the cost with some depraved overdriven guitar. The cymbals sound nice because of that reliance on the upper-register, and the remainder of the package is effectively represented by the remainder of the signature. The guitar solo is, as you’d hope, a spotlight right here, with loads of chunk and presence to the screeching guitar.
Kendrick Lamar’s Swimming Swimming pools does the alternative, and highlights a number of the weaknesses of the sound signature. The bass doesn’t fairly hit in addition to you would possibly hope, and the digital hi-hats are piercing and uncomfortable. It feels a bit of hole all in, and whereas not horrific, it’s not significantly particular.
Again to one thing good, nonetheless, and also you’ll discover the Marshalls actually at their strongest. Weirdly, one thing as unapproachable and lo-fi as excessive steel is an effective way to get one of the best out of them, with Mayhem’s Freezing Moon as livid and off-putting accurately. The guitars are chilly, exacting, and emphasised by the upper-mid bias, whereas the drums are given a eager edge by the remainder of the signature. It’s an important pay attention, and exhibits simply how a lot a headphones efficiency can differ.
Marshall Motif II: Competitors
There’s a truthful quantity of competitors for the Marshall Motif II. There’s Apple’s AirPods Professional 2, which convey higher noise canceling and barely superior sound for an elevated value. They’re smaller as effectively, should you’ve acquired actually small pockets. Some may also discover the much less intrusive match of the AirPods to be superior as effectively, though your mileage could differ.
The Sony WF-1000XM5 are another choice for the discerning listener, though now we have but to check them. Critiques round are good, nonetheless, however you’ll discover that they value an important deal greater than the Marshalls at $299. Noise-canceling, most notably, would be the key distinction right here.
In the long term, nonetheless, should you’re on the lookout for a pair of earbuds which might be going to be at their finest taking part in rock and steel, then you definately’re not going to seek out something with the panache and enjoyable of the Motif II.
Marshall Motif II: Do you have to purchase these?
You should purchase these if…
- You are a giant listener to rock and steel
- You need some buds that look totally different
- You don’t need AirPods
You should not purchase these if…
- You want Rap or bass-heavy tunes
- You need wonderful noise canceling
- You need one thing easy trying
Marshall Motif II: Verdict
I’ve come to like the Marshall Motif II in my testing time. I like the way in which they give the impression of being, I like the way in which they sound, and I like the worth level that they sit at. I do marvel if Marshall might have carried out extra by way of the noise-canceling efficiency, however then I play a few of my favourite dying steel, and my complaints soften away right into a mire of roared vocals and closely distorted guitars.
That’s to not say there’s nothing right here for the followers of different genres — they’re constructed effectively, most music sounds good, they usually look fairly cool with their fun-knurled stems. There is just one shade choice, nonetheless. “It’s like, how rather more black might this be? And the reply is none.”
“None extra black.”
Little black buds
The Marshall Motif II won’t be the proper buds for everybody, however for a slim subset they’re just about spot on. Take pleasure in steel, rock or different guitar heavy genres? These are your buds.